Are We Living in an Era of Heaven and Hell on Earth?
ProLifeCorner- By Larry Plachno
The demography coming out of the recent 2016 Presidential election is suggesting that we are living in an era of Heaven and Hell on earth. This is bringing up several questions: What is the cause of why areas are different? Is Christianity more than just a religion? And how important is traditional marriage to society?
For many years now, the demographers have been telling us that you can predict elections based on an area’s fertility rate – effectively the interest in bringing children into our world. Areas with a high fertility rate tend to elect conservative candidates and vote for conservative issues. Areas with a low fertility rate tend to elect liberal candidates and vote for liberal issues.
In recent years these differences have become increasingly polarized and more sharply defined. For decades now, families have been moving out of the inner cities and into suburban and rural areas. At the same time, singles have moved into the big cities for education, employment or activities. The differences between the two areas have become increasingly obvious.
Meanwhile, the researchers have been busy seeking to define the differences between these two areas. Some things were very obvious. People in the conservative areas are statistically more likely to be married and have larger families while those in the liberal areas are less likely to be married with large families. People in the conservative areas are less likely to be concerned with political correctness while those in the liberal areas are more interested in social issues. It has also been suggested that people in the conservative areas are more likely to believe in responsibilities while those in the liberal areas are more likely to believe in rights.
But, as time has gone on, even more differences have been pointed out. The conservative areas are more likely to have more middle class, less poverty and more income equality while the liberal areas are more likely to have less middle class, more poverty and less income equality. It is also interesting that people in the conservative areas are more likely to attend church regularly. Hence, there has been some thought on this connection between Christianity and our polarized society.
Christian basics start with the fact that God sent His Son to earth to suffer and die to atone for our sins. Hence, good and evil is a big factor with God. Jesus Christ gave us two laws to live by: love of God and love of neighbor. We love God when we judge our actions and decisions as to whether they are good or evil. We are a follower of Jesus Christ when “good” means doing what is best for others. This is why the word “Christian” is often defined as someone who has a strong concern for others.
While some people think of this as religion, others will tell you that it is simple logic. Society is like a team. When we work together for common goals we win. When individual team members do what they want instead of what is best for the team, it is difficult to win.
At this point I feel obligated to digress briefly to mention that marriage is a key factor in reducing social problems. Married people are less likely to commit crimes, less likely to be the victim of crimes, less likely to live in poverty and less likely to be homeless. Except for some major diseases like cancer, married people are also more likely to be healthy and to live longer. It is also noteworthy that the single biggest factor determining whether a child will end up breaking the law and going to prison is growing up without a father in the house.
Religion and marriage go together. The first public miracle of Jesus Christ was at the Wedding Feast at Cana. And, when Jesus Christ admonished his followers to love their neighbor, he did not provide exceptions for marriage or abortion.
This has led many to suggest that God does not decide whether we belong in Heaven or Hell, we make that decision ourselves. Hence, they say that Heaven is a place for people who put others first while Hell is a place for people who put themselves first. In addition to being logical, there are people pointing out that this is what is happening to our nation today.
The demographics from the recent 2016 Presidential election are showing us to be a very polarized nation. Some people are already saying that there are really two Americas. While statistics vary, the numbers show some very strong differences. Counties that voted liberal tend to be larger cities with larger populations while the counties that voted conservative tend to be suburban or rural with smaller populations.
The liberal areas tend to have more crime, less middle class and less income equality. The conservative areas tend to have less crime, more middle class and more income equality. The liberal areas tend to have more poverty. In the conservative areas, a major factor behind poverty tends to be a lack of marriage, particularly unmarried mothers.
Why this Difference?
But the big question is why do we find these major differences between adjacent counties? Why is one area a “Hell” with poverty and crime and the adjacent area a “Heaven” with middle class and families? What causes these differences in people and areas that are only a few miles apart?
Some people have suggested that jobs might be a factor. But there is no reason why the liberal areas and big cities cannot provide favorable conditions to encourage companies and jobs to move in. Actually, there are numerous good jobs in most of the liberal areas. This is often the reason why younger unmarried people move from the rural areas to the big cities. In addition, it is pointed out that there are other countries where a lack of jobs has not prevented the people from marrying and having children.
Education is equally unlikely as a factor. There are good schools and universities in most liberal areas, and educational loans are available to everyone.
Marriage does seem to be a major factor. Where you have a high number of married people, you have more middle class, less crime and less poverty. Where there is less marriage, you have fewer middle class people and an area divided into upper and lower classes. But why are there differences in marriage between one group and the other?
Do we dare suggest that basic Christian principles may be a factor? Where people put others first and share with others you have more marriage, less poverty and more income equality. Where people put themselves first and do not share with others you have less marriage, more poverty and less income equality.
Yes, the demographers have said that these differences are based on fertility rates. People who are more willing to share with a spouse, children and family are more likely to vote conservative and less likely to live in poverty. People who put themselves first and support abortion are more likely to vote liberal and more likely to live in poverty and in a high crime area.
This does make one think that “separation of church and state” is not good for our country. Where people believe in basic Christian principles and support marriage, family and life, they statistically tend to come out ahead. Will our politicians ever realize that “love of God” and “love of neighbor” can be more than a religion?
Jesus Christ gave us these rules to live by 2,000 years ago. Yet, we still don’t understand the magic behind working together for marriage and life. The demography and statistics suggest that “love your neighbor” carries its own reward while putting yourself first carries it own punishment . . . just like Heaven and Hell.
Editors Note: Larry Plachno is a successful businessman, publisher, author, and composer of an incalculable number of articles relating to family, life issues and associated problems and solutions. This barely scratches the surface of what Larry really is. His love of God, family and country is inspiring.
For years now Larry has shared his writings with us here at the ProLifeCorner and we are truly humbled by his generosity.
Larry is also an ardent blogger and is a prolific writer. You can follow his work at: www.unselfish.org